Surrey appoint Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford on a three-year deal

Ford will work alongside former England captain Alec Stewart who takes on director of cricket role

Surrey have confirmed the appointment of Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford as their new head coach.

The 52-year-old has signed a three-year deal and will join the club in February.

Ford will work alongside club board member Alec Stewart, who is to take on the role of director of cricket.

Ford is a vastly-experienced coach having had spells in charge of his native South Africa, Natal and Kent, as well as Sri Lanka.

He replaces Chris Adams, who was sacked last June amid a poor season which eventually ended in relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Ford said: "I am delighted to once again be involved in the English cricketing system.

"I have, for a long while, been an admirer of Surrey CCC and see it as a great privilege to be actively involved in such a fine club.

"I look forward to the exciting times ahead!"

Former England captain Stewart had been serving as interim director of cricket since Adams' departure.

The 50-year-old said: "This is an outstanding appointment. Graham is someone who is well respected throughout the cricketing world and has a reputation of improving individual and team performances - I am looking forward to working with him."

Ford will join fellow South African Graeme Smith at the Kia Oval with the long-serving national skipper having been re-signed, as club captain, for 2014.

The move will also see him link up once again with England batsman Kevin Pietersen, whom he has known since his school days and has remained close to.

Ford started coaching in 1992 and won domestic honours with Natal before stepping up to international level with South Africa in 1999. He had a spell at Kent in 2005 and later returned to Natal. He took charge of Sri Lanka in January last year having previously declined the chance to take over India.

PA

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